Tuesday, November 29, 2011

STYLE TIPS: How to update last year's party dress

With the party season just around the corner it's time to get your outfit sorted! A new dress is always welcome, but isn't it a shame to waste that perfect LBD (or other colour) from last year? Ofcourse nobody wants to be wearing the same clothes in two years worth of Christmas photographs, but there's a cheaper, more creative alternative to splashing your money on new threads. And not only that, you can add your own touch and create something nobody else will have and totally fits your style!

If you take a look at the current trends, you'll see a lot of lace, sheer fabrics, embellishments and stars. All these things you could easily incorporate into your own look. Wanting to add some sexy, sheer touches to your strappy dress? You could wear a pretty blouse underneath or over it, changing it from showing off your skin to a flirty hint at what's underneath.

Black Chiffon dress at Miss Selfridge £39
The same goes for adding lace. Another way to add some lace is to sew a collar onto your dress. This will make it feel very feminine and vintage. If you're not a dab hand with a needle and thread you could wear some lace gloves, pin on a lacy flower brooch.

Pearl Lowe for Peacocks  £35

Embellishments will take a bit more time to add, but the results can be stunning. Adding pearls, sequins or rhinestones will really glam up a plain outfit. If you're not handy enough, or not patient enough, to sew on your embellishments you could glue them on with a glue-gun or use a tool for adding on your rhinestones. Be careful that you use glue that is compatible with your fabric and also strong enough so that your hard work won't come of with the first washing! This is a really fun way to decorate your dress because you can add all kinds of designs and use all kinds of items. They don't need to be the classic pearls or shimmers, you could add buttons, beads, studs, anything you'd like. You could add pearls in a bow shape along the neckline for a cute, vintage look, place rhinestones all over for a stunning sparkling effect or studs for a harder edge. This really is a good way to put your own personal stamp on your clothing.

Rise Boutique jewelled neck dress at Tesco £55

And then finally, maybe the biggest current trend, stars! They're fun, festive and can be anything from flirty to edgy. Easy ways to add stars to your existing wardrobe is to find some transfers to iron on, or make a mold out of cardboard or plastic so you can paint them on yourself. You can't really do either of these well on sheer fabrics. It's best to try this out on items made out of cotton or jersey. Of course you could always just add some jewellery or accessories with stars!

Black Star Pussy Bow dress at Matalan £24

The easiest and still inexpensive way to update your wardrobe is to add new accessories. A statement necklace, some fingerless gloves, a cool hat, all these things will jazz up last years outfit without much effort but with maximum effect. Have fun and be creative!

Monday, November 14, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: The Black Cauldron

The Horned King is after the black cauldron, an ancient weapon which contains incredible demonic powers. He plans to raise an army out of dead soldiers to conquer the world. Meanwhile, a young boy called Taran wants more than anything to be a great warrior, but he is only a pig keepers assistant to the enchanter Dallben. One day, taking care of the adorable Hen Wen, the pig starts to act scared. Dallben gets the clairvoyant creature to do her thing and it turns out that the Horned King knows of her powers. Afraid for Hen Wens safety, he send the boy and pig to hide in a little woodcabin. On their way though, the Kings dragon grab Hen Wen. Taran promised the enchanter that he'd make sure the evil king doesn't get his hands on her, so he goes after them to the very scary looking castle where the Horned King dwells.
The Black Cauldron is a lot darker and scarier than other Disney movies I have seen. It doesn't have any songs and it lacks that frivolity Disney is so well known for. It might not be everyones cup of tea, certainly too scary for most of their usual little fans I'm sure, but it is a good movie. This thrilling adventure takes you from a little farmers shack, to dark castle dungeons, to a world full of hidden fairies.
The Horned King is an evil, heartless villain of the highest caliber and his deathless army is creepy enough to give anyone nightmares. Were it not for the "good" characters, it might all seem a tad too gloomy. Taran and the people he meets on his way are all very likeable. The magical Princess Eilonwy and the middle-aged minstrel Flewwddur Fflam provide a touch of lightness in this otherwise dark tale. I even quite liked Gurgi, a small, whiny creature not unlike Harry Potters'"Dobby".
What makes this a good story is Tarans courage and willingness to help his newfound friends no matter what. Good versus evil is such an age old story, Disney has made so many of these tales, but because the Horned King appears so demonic and unbeatable, Taran has to be even braver and take bigger risks than anyone could expect of a little boy and that works really well. His quest really draws you in and at times has you at the edge of your seat.

The animation is beautiful, like I said this movie is very dark. Most of the scenery looks very ominous, they wouldn't look out of place in an Iron Maiden video.
I can see why the Black Cauldron isn't a big classic like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or the Little Mermaid, it just won't appeal to as big an audience. I imagine this is one of the few Disney movies that would appeal to boys more than girls. Maybe not for the little ones, but worth a watch!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Recently started on NBC, Grimm is a police drama with a difference. Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt has a gift that he acquired from his dying aunt. He's the last in a long line of Grimms, people who can see the real monsters behind their human disguises. That's right, the fairytales weren't just stories to warn kids about the results of bad behavior, they really happened! And now it's up to Nick to search them out and kill the bad ones.
It sounds like one of those things that I couldn't believe nobody had thought of yet. So far, NBC have aired a pilot and a second episode and tonight the third is on. The show was created by Stephen Carpenter, Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, who have all at some point worked on Angel. And ofcourse David Greenwalt was also co-executive producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and co-creator of Angel. Grimm could be easily described as a mix between Buffy and CSI. I was gripped from the first little bit I saw of it and I think it's one of the more interesting new shows to come along. It's scary, exciting and perfect if you were that little kid sat in the library reading the real versions of the Brothers' gruesome tales. If you're interest is sparked, check out the free previews on iTunes or check out NBC's page for it: http://www.nbc.com/grimm/.